The grassroots protest is looking to take its gloves off and hit the NHL where it hurts.
A Facebook campaign is looking to drop the gloves and end the NHL lockout.
Avid hockey fans created Just Drop It, an assertively titled Facebook group that is frustrated with the NHL’s labor disagreement. Since the lockout started in September, the league has cancelled 40 percent of scheduled games for the 2012-13 season.
With no compromise in sight between team owners and the players’ association, Just Drop It members are threatening them where it hurts the most: their well-padded pocket books.
For every game the NHL cancels beyond Dec. 21, fans are pledging on Facebook to boycott the same number of games when (or if) play resumes. The NHL has shelved games from through Dec. 30, resulting in a total of 526 games lost.
“As an example, if we lose ten games, then they’ll lose the first ten games when they return—we’ll refrain from watching it on TV, from going to a game, and from buying any merchandise for the duration of the ban,” Just Drop It explained on its Facebook page.
Just Drop It hopes this grabs the NHL’s and the players’ attention to illustrate how both parties are screwing over the fan’s devotion to the struggling sport, especially given that this is the league’s third work stoppage in 18 years.
“This is an effective way for the loyal fans—who make the sport possible in the first place—to be heard,” the page’s moderators claim. “If enough of us do this, we will get some measure of respect from the league and the union.”
So far, the page has attracted 8,600 fans who are vowing to boycott the NHL. Just Drop It has produced a slick-looking YouTube video that showcases fans clad in hockey jerseys explaining how much they miss hockey.
“I’m pissed,” reasoned an unnamed fan in the video. Another fan said the league won’t “see another dime” from him.
Facebook fans appear to throwing their weight behind Just Do It, turning the page into a loud and proud digital picket line.
“This league needs a reality check,” wrote Daniel Dery. “Empty arenas would help get that message across. Boycott the NHL until Gary Bettman is replaced as Commissioner.”
Until the puck drops, hockey fans can always console themselves with fandom.
Photo via JustDropIt2012/YouTube
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